Does one need faith to be born again? No. Absolutely not.
Has Rob Bell gotten to me? Hell no! (Couldn't resist).
I say no, we don't need faith to be born again because faith is the result of being born again, not the cause. Scripture speaks of regeneration (being born again) as the completely sovereign work of God in which we are entirely passive. Just as we did not choose to be born physically, so we do not choose to be born again...
John 1:12-13, "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."
Speaking of this same regenerative work, God declared through the prophet Ezekiel, "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules" (Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV).
Jesus, in his conversation with Nicodemus makes this clear too, "Nicodemus said to him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?' Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.'"(John 3:4-8 ESV).
Peter writes, " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3 ESV).
Maybe even more telling are the passages that speak of our inability to respond appropriately to God prior to a regenerative work by God.
Jesus says that no one can come to him unless "it is granted him by the Father" (John 6:65). Luke describes this in the life of Lydia as God, writing that "The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul" (Acts 16:14).
In addition, Paul tells us, "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV). How does one become a spiritual person rather than a natural person? It is the sovereign work of God - the wind blows where it wills.
Likewise, Paul says in Ephesians 2:4-9, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." See also Colossians 2:13.
I should clarify - I believe those who are regenerated by the Spirit will respond to the gospel call in faith. There's a whole bunch more posts possible on the notions of 'irresistible grace' and 'effectual calling'. Moreover, saying regeneration precedes faith isn't so much a statement of chronology as it is logic. From our perspective this work of God in regenerating sinners, calling them effectually, them responding in repentance and faith and being justified may seem to all come together. However, logically, our responses are possible only because of God's initiative.
Augustine referred to regeneration as 'prevenient grace' - the grace that precedes our outgoing of heart toward God (Packer, Concise Theology, 158). Why the emphasis on regeneration or rebirth preceding faith? Going back to the passage in Ephesians, Paul explains that God made us alive when we were dead and did it solely by grace "so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus". If faith becomes something we do on our own, there is the danger of viewing it in a meritorious way - as though our faith saves us. That's dangerous. if it's our faith that saves us, the object of our faith wouldn't really matter, as long as our faith was strong and/or sincere. But it isn't our faith that saves us - we are saved by grace through faith in Christ. Christ, the object of our faith, saves us. God's grace enables this faith so that no one will boast, no one who is saved can credit themselves, and God gets all the glory.
Soli Deo Gloria.